Birthing the Father Within: Therapeutic Approaches for the Nascent Father
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In this study, I explore the nature and meaning of the experience of leaving one state of consciousness behind to enter into that of fatherhood, and I argue that the passage into fatherhood can be an opportunity for men to restructure their lives toward greater self-reflexivity, emotional awareness, and social connection. This exploration sheds light into surprising opportunities for connection with one’s self and with others. First, it reveals opportunities to re-evaluate and reset one’s own life-, family-, work-, and psychological-balance. Second, it is a siren call to greater self-reflexivity. For me, becoming a father was a call for greater self-awareness and responsibility that grew out of my need to nurture, protect, and teach my child. I recognize that, through my behaviour, I have become a role model. My ways of being, thinking, feeling, interacting, reflecting, relating are teaching tool for my child to study. My journey into fatherhood has reminded me of the importance of play, it has promoted a focus on being rather than doing, and it has generated a greater feeling of authentic congruence. Third, this journey has generated numerous opportunities for me to evaluate my connection with my wife. There have been many times when I could have chosen to feel excluded, irrelevant, or insulted. At each of these times I could have “taken the easy way out” but yet I managed to express my desires to stay involved and, in finding my partner pleasantly open and sometimes even surprised, we seized these opportunities to strengthen our connection.